The Different Colors of a Cavity and What They Mean

When many of us think of a cavity, we think of it as being brown and ugly. But did you know that a cavity can form in a variety of colors. That’s right! A cavity’s color can range from white to black — and even yellow. And, it’s all dependent upon bacteria, the level of the decay, and the stage of the cavity itself.

Here’s what you need to know about the different shades.

Early Cavity Looks Like a Chalk-Colored Spot

The first sign of a cavity can be so faint, it can’t been with the naked eye. Why? Because these cavity spots are chalky white.

Sometimes it’s very difficult to spot the first color of a cavity with the naked eye. Often, these spots are chalky white in color

When you leave food on your teeth, especially food containing sugar and starch, the hungry little bacteria in your mouth feed on them. This leaves behind acids. Over time, these acids break down the calcium and minerals in your tooth enamel through a process called demineralization.

If you see glossy white spots the color of chalk on your teeth, this is probably a sign of demineralization. Demineralization roughens the surface of your enamel, so you might also notice these white spots easily pick up stains. Because of this, pay attention to light brown spots on your teeth as well. This color might also be an early sign of a cavity.

A Yellow Or Grey-Colored Cavity

Your tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in your body — but it’s not a fortress. After the first stage of demineralization, the bacteria in your mouth continues to break down your tooth enamel even further. At this point, you might notice a yellow or grey color to your cavities. This means that the enamel has broken down to the point where the dentin below shows through.

Unfortunately, dentin doesn’t have any living cells, so it can’t regrow. And unlike your outer enamel, fluoride treatments won’t help restore damaged dentin. The good news? Once these yellow or grey-colored cavities appear, they are irreversible. But early treatment is critical to prevent a filling.

Think You Have a Cavity?

A toothache that comes and goes may seem like just an inconvenience and not worth an immediate call to our office, but waiting until the pain becomes worse is rarely the best option. Whatever the type and severity of your tooth pain, it is best to call us right away and make an appointment.

Sherman Oaks Dentistry Dr Perlaza